In the villages there are still stone fences and houses with thatched roofs. Dolomite, windmills and the famous local home-brewed beer are the symbols of Saaremaa.
The Saare people have a sing-song intonation, reminiscent of Swedish, which confirms their close ties with lands beyond the sea.
The islanders' lives have always been bound to the sea and the resilience of their womenfolk, kept busy toiling the land while their men were at sea, is legendary in Estonia. The people of Saaremaa claim that there have been only three major sea powers in world history: England, Hiiumaa and Saaremaa.
The people of Saaremaa love jokes- especially the ones which are about their neighbours- the people of Hiiumaa. The jokes of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa folk may be lost on other Estonians, just as is British humour is sometimes not appreciated “on the continent”.
Example Saaremaa joke: Why do people from Hiiumaa always smile when there is thunder and lightning inSaaremaa? They think someone is taking photos of them.
Saaremaa and sour-sweet bread seem to be inseparable. The islanders love black rye bread from the shop or home-baked.
The people of Saaremaa have always been great beer brewers ... and drinkers. The tradition of making, a hoppy-malty, home-brewed beer is still alive and well in Saaremaa. So if you like beer try to make friends with locals ... but be careful- home-made beer can be heady.